You have to wonder what makes couples decide to have a baby. Do they simply get tired of those peaceful weekends? Sick of sleeping eight straight hours without interruption? Bored with spur-of-the-moment getaways and romantic dinners at expensive restaurants? Whatever the reason, millions of married men and women decide at some point to replace their champagne flutes with sippy cups, their passion with pacifiers, all in search of that fierce and unconditional love that is said to exist between a parent and child.
Six years ago, as a newly married wife and stepmom, I decided a baby was all that stood between me and Utter Bliss. It wasn't difficult to convince Hubs to get on board with my new project — in fact, he went after it with the all the determination of an Olympic hopeful. Yet even a gold medalist can only give so much. Within a few days, we were both exhausted and unusually crabby. Egos were nursed along with minor cuts and scratches. A pregnancy test at the end of the month confirmed the pathetic news: Team USA's top babymakers hadn't even bronzed.
Feeling betrayed by my own body, I searched for solace on the Internet. There I found the tormented accounts of thousands of women who'd tried for months and even years to make babies, to no avail. They poured out their angst on message boards and I quickly realized my own plaintive tale, tentatively titled "Five Days of Action, No Baby Satisfaction," would look like child's play sandwiched in between stories of $10,000 fertility treatments and low sperm counts. I skulked out of their online clubhouse, searching instead for a little baby making advice.
According to Dr. Google, I had three options. The first was to write down the condition of my cervical mucus each day and note its changes. I realized with horror that the resulting document potentially would be more embarrassing than the discovery of my secret diary. In fact, I could already see the writing on the public bathroom wall: "For stretchy cervical mucus, call 555-3897!"
Option two was even more horrifying. With two clean fingers, I was instructed to feel my cervix once a day. But the warnings about possible infection using this method made me envision a humiliating discussion with my gynecologist. "Well, you see doctor, I was searching for my cervix and apparently, I had a hangnail ... maybe a slightly ... dirty ... hangnail." My final option was to take my temperature each morning with a special thermometer and then chart it on a graph. On ovulation day, my temperature would dip a few tenths of a degree, signaling that it was the day to knock boots. Eagerly, I set up my chart online so that other mommy wannabes could track my progress and I could keep an eye on theirs. Soon, I was locked in an obsessive charting competition with countless other baby making hopefuls around the globe. Who would win the positive pregnancy test? Would it be Giselle from France? Suki from Japan? Jo Nell from Mississippi? Surely not! I hadn't come this far for nothing. My husband, noting the maniacal gleam in my eye as I scribbled down my temperature each morning promptly at 7, cowered beneath the sheets, praying he'd survive "O" day intact.
And suddenly, it was upon us. Detecting a definite temperature plunge, I turned to Hubs, who knew by the strange combination of my gritted teeth and come-hither smile that it was go time. Resolutely, we did the deed and I'm embarrassed to admit that as soon as he left the room, I actually attempted a headstand on the bed that ended prematurely when I lost my balance and strained my neck. No matter. We had done our best. We had given it our all. More than once.
Afterward, all I could do was wait until that fateful day two and a half weeks later, when Hubs headed to the grocery for a pregnancy test. I carefully followed the test's instructions, then watched the tiny plastic window in disbelief as two lines slowly appeared. "Oh my god," I said. "I can't believe I'm preg.....ners." We laughed like two dazed hyenas. The training had been tough, but worth it. We'd won.
Late that night, I held my own private winner's ceremony, posting a positive pregnancy test symbol at the end of my online chart while picturing the Giselles, Sukis and Jo Nells stamping their feet in frustration. With the benevolent smile of a medalist, I ignored the churning of my stomach and laid my head on my arm, watching the computer screen blur before my half-closed eyes. In just nine months, there would be poopy diapers, I thought sleepily. There would be spit-up. And there would be a demanding little creature in my arms, a child I'd waited my whole life to love.
Read more Suburban Turmoil at www.suburbanturmoil.com.
Tisk tisk tisk
I was at Cleopatra it was awsoooooooooome
@Senor Sardonicus: So, Zombie, you finally discovered peyote. Mmm, mmm, mmm.
I agree that The Tennessean should have broader coverage; ie> coverage of other religions and…
@davidlongfellow: What are you implying? The killers explanation for the beheading makes perfect sense to…